Westover Hills Women's Health
OBGYNs located in San Antonio, TX
You don’t have to give up your dream of building a family. Ongoing advances in medicine continue to create better treatment options for infertility. Dr. Houmam Al-Hakeem is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in San Antonio who can find the cause and develop an effective treatment plan for your fertility concerns. Call Westover Hills Women’s Health today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Al-Hakeem or try his patient-friendly online scheduling service.
Fertility Q & A
What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year. It’s believed that approximately 10-15% of couples in the US have problems with infertility, and female infertility is responsible for about one-third of the cases.
When should I see a doctor for fertility issues?
Generally, you don’t need to worry about fertility issues unless you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without results. However, Dr. Al-Hakeem recommends you see him sooner if you’re feeling very stressed due to fertility problems or when you:
- Are over age 40
- Have had multiple miscarriages
- Have problems with irregular or painful periods
- Are age 35 to 40 and unable to conceive after six months
- Have a history of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
What causes female infertility?
There are many factors that can affect your fertility. For instance, female fertility gradually declines with age and drops quickly after age 37. This is sometimes due to the number and quality of eggs left in your ovaries or other health issues that come up more for older adults, such as diabetes.
Certain lifestyle factors can also interfere with your ability to conceive, such as excessive exercise or a poor diet that causes you to be either obese or extremely underweight. Along with poorly controlled diabetes, other health concerns that may affect your fertility include:
- Celiac disease
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus
- Uterine fibroids, polyps, or cervical abnormalities
- Scarring and blockage in the fallopian tubes after PID or sexually transmitted infections
- Endometriosis caused by abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus
Hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation or the release of eggs from the ovaries can also cause female infertility. Common hormonal issues leading to infertility include:
- PCOS leading to higher than normal levels of androgens
- Elevated levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates breast milk production
- Thyroid abnormalities leading to too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism)
What are the treatments for infertility?
The first step in successfully treating infertility is diagnosing the cause. Your treatment plan may include hormone adjustments, changes in lifestyle and diet, or improving control of medical issues such as diabetes. Dr. Al-Hakeem may also recommend surgical correction for issues such as uterine fibroids or other abnormalities interfering with your ability to conceive.